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DISD Teens Simultaneously Graduate From High School & College

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Two high school students are on the verge of accomplishing something no student in the Dallas Independent School District has ever been able to accomplish. The teens are about to simultaneously graduate with two degrees, one from high school, and the other from college.

Roosevelt High School, in south Dallas, has a student poverty rate of 83-percent.

Despite that, Jose Carranza and Rosalinda Sanchez, who've lived in the neighborhood all their lives, have accomplished something great. Both completed 62 college credit hours and have obtained an undergraduate Associates Degree, while they were still in high school.

"All you need is motivation. Anyone can do it," Carranza said.

The student's principal, Dr. Leicha Shaver, said, "They are the first two from Roosevelt High School as well as Dallas ISD."

Asked if anyone could do what she did Sanchez responded, "I was able to do it. They can do it."

The teen said she didn't have to look far for motivation.

"Probably watching all my siblings. A lot of them didn't finish school, take the right path."

Dr. Shaver said she is extremely proud.

"The hard work. The perseverance. The persistence. The sacrifice has been tremendous," she said.

Neither of the students took online classes, both rode DART to El Centro College to take classes. They did it to be a part of a college environment.

"We really wanted to get them an authentic college experience," Dr. Shaver said. "They will know what college looks like. How it sounds. How it should operate and how to access the different resources that are necessary to be successful."

Jose Carranza is 17. Rosalinda Sanchez is 18. The two have known each other since elementary school.

"She's competitive. Smart. Kicks butt," Carranza said.

Both are aiming for a career in law enforcement.

"I'm actually trying to be a SWAT member. SWAT team," Carranza said.

Like some of the characters on her favorite crime scene programs, Sanchez wants to become a crime scene investigator.

What does she like about the work?

"Probably when they go out there, they can collect all this evidence using the lab to figure out how it happened and how they [criminals] did it," she said.

Both students figured out early the road to success begins with education.

The two will graduate from El Centro College on May 6. They graduate from Roosevelt High School on May 26.

Roosevelt High School hopes more students will follow in their footsteps. The dual credit program they offer is free.

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